Gazebo Gazette

In December 1992, wreath maker Morrill Worcester found himself with a surplus of 5,000 wreaths during the holiday season.

Worcester saw the surplus as an opportunity to pay tribute to our country’s veterans and arranged for the wreaths to be placed at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

The now annual tribute to our country’s veterans has continued ever since, touching the lives of millions of veterans’ families and volunteers and growing in scope through the years.

In 2007, the Worcester family along with veterans and volunteers formed the non-profit organization Wreaths Across America to continue and expand their efforts at Arlington National Cemetery and to support those around the country who wished to do the same.

Wreaths Across America’s mission is simple: Remember the fallen, Honor those that serve, and Teach the next generation about the value of freedom.

In 2022, Wreaths Across America and its national network of volunteers placed nearly 2.7 million veterans’ wreaths at more than 3,702 locations in all 50 U.S. states, at sea, and abroad.

This year, National Wreaths Across America day will be held on Saturday, December 16, 2023 at the Long Beach City Cemetery.  The formal ceremony will begin promptly at 1:00 pm; the public is invited to attend.

Members of VFW Post 3937 and American Legion Post 1995 will begin laying wreaths at the conclusion of the ceremony.  Volunteers are welcome and encouraged to assist in the laying of the wreaths.

In 2022, with the financial support of businesses, organizations, and veterans’ families and friends, we were able to lay a wreath at every one of the known veterans’ gravesites.

If you know of a veteran at the cemetery who does not have a gravesite indication that he/she is a veteran, please let us know so that we can ensure that he/she also receives a wreath.

Each hand-made, fresh, live wreath costs $17 and is made in the USA with Maine balsam. If sponsoring, please let us know who you are sponsoring.

Although the Long Beach City Cemetery will be the focus of the wreath laying, wreaths for veterans interred at other Long Beach and neighboring cemeteries can be sponsored and picked up that afternoon after the ceremony.

If you wish to remember and honor our deceased veterans, sponsorships or donations can be:

Mailed or delivered to VFW Post 3937, 213 Klondyke Road, Long Beach MS 39560 Mailed to American Legion Post 1995, POBox 550, Long Beach MS 39560.

The events’ POC is Wendy Griffioen who can be reached at wjgriffioen1960@gmail. com or (228) 424-6910.

Photo by Master Sgt. Jim Varhegyi